AnnMarie Farrelly, Chief Executive of Fingal County Council. Picture by Shane O'Neill, SON Photographic.

Fingal County Council formally appointed AnnMarie Farrelly, its first female chief executive at a special meeting last Friday.

Councillors passed a special resolution to appoint AnnMarie Farrelly to the position she has privisionally filled since Paul Reid left to head up the HSE in May.

The local authority’s Corporate Policy Group had last week unanimously supported the recommendation of the Public Appointments Service.

Ms Farrelly becomes the sixth person to fill the role of chief executive, formerly known as county manager, of Fingal County Council.

The married mother-of-two, who is originally from Co Monaghan, said it was an “honour and a privilege” to take up the position.

She added: “The county has transformed since the council was established in 1994. Over the past 25 years, for example, our population has doubled to 300,000.

“Our rates income, which was €3.7million back in 1994, has risen to €129million this year. This level of growth is an indication of our success but has also presented some challenges, which we will continue to address.”

Ms Farrelly previously worked for Dublin County Council before joining Fingal County Council on its establishment in 1994.

She was Fingal County Council’s Director of Housing and Community from 2011 to 2015 before serving as Director of Planning and Strategic Infrastructure from 2015 to 2019.

She said: “I want to ensure that Fingal remains a vibrant, outward-looking and well-run council and that we embrace opportunity and diversity.

“We will need to take a lead on issues such as climate action, public transport improvement, employment and housing.

“It is also important that we perform our core responsibilities well and I do intend to keep a focus on this area, particularly on our roles as regulator.”

Former council chief Paul Reid was one of the first to congratulate his successor. He tweeted: “Couldn’t have wished for a better successor to the privileged role as CE of Fingal County Council.

“You are a remarkable leader and the people and business in Fingal will do well under your stewardship. The very best of luck.”

Mayor of Fingal Cllr Eoghan O’Brien said: “I firmly believe that she is the right person to lead our local authority. She is an exemplary public servant whose knowledge of the sector is second to none.”

Ms Farrelly listed housing on public lands in Donabate, Swords Cultural Quarter, the regeneration of Balbriggan, the Coastal Way and the Snugborough Interchange as key target.

She pledged: “I will continue with my management team and staff to deliver essential projects, and to ensure a good quality of life for all our citizens both young and old.”